Built over one hundred years ago to resemble the Champs-Élysées in Paris, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway connects The Philadelphian to renowned art museums, educational institutions and public artwork.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Just across the street from The Philadelphian, this acclaimed museum offers one of the country’s largest art collections, spanning pre-Columbian artifacts to contemporary works. Many of our residents spend pleasurable hours here as volunteer docents, members, and frequent visitors.
Building residents are also active in the life of the Barnes, a museum housing one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionist and post-Impressionist artwork. Collected by Dr. Albert Barnes between 1912 and 1951, these works were moved into a stunning new building on the Parkway within the last decade.
Eastern State Penitentiary
A National Historic Landmark, Eastern State Penitentiary represented radical prison reform when it was built in 1829. Operational until 1971, Eastern State then fell into disrepair. Visitors can now take self-guided and guided tours through this "preserved ruin" to see an unusual slice of American history. Additional exhibitions illuminate current issues in criminal justice.
Fairmount Water Works
Beside the Schuylkill River at the foot of the Art Museum, the Fairmount Water Works opened in 1815 as the sole water pumping station for the city. Now a National Historic Landmark, the building includes a fascinating small museum.
This large and very popular science museum features interactive exhibits, a planetarium and an IMAX theater, in addition to many events.
Parkway Central Library
Farther down the Parkway, the main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia serves as the hub of a vibrant and vital institution in our city. Residents of The Philadelphian may become Friends of the Free Library, and many of us attend presentations by recent authors ranging from historians to novelists and poets.
Just two blocks from The Philadelphian, this museum contains the largest collection of sculpture by Auguste Rodin outside of Paris. Administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin encompasses a lovely garden of sculptures and plantings, shown at right, that anyone can visit anytime.